W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-appformats@w3.org > December 2006

Re: For ZIP packaging, take a look at OCF (Open Container Format)

From: Jon Ferraiolo <jferrai@us.ibm.com>
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2006 14:52:07 -0800
To: Jon Ferraiolo <jferrai@us.ibm.com>
Cc: public-appformats@w3.org
Message-ID: <OFA3BBC1D2.47D05A0A-ON88257241.007D5B81-88257241.007D9F01@us.ibm.com>

I should have mentioned that Adobe is using OCF within PDF (see
http://labs.adobe.com/wiki/index.php/Mars) and within Adobe Digital
Editions (http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/digitaleditions/), so the
technology isn't just for ODF/OpenOffice/StarOffice.

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                                       For ZIP packaging, take a look at   
             12/11/2006 02:33          OCF (Open Container Format)         

I noticed that Widgets 1.0 requires that widgets are bundled in ZIP. To
save everyone time and energy, and to get the industry all on the same
page, you should take a look at the OCF standard from the IDPF (the
ebook/epublishing standards group). The URL is:


This specification addresses all of the complexities with using ZIP as part
of a standard. OCF builds upon another industry standard, ODF (
http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/tc_home.php?wg_abbrev=office). OCF's
approach to ZIP is designed to be upwardly compatible with the ZIP
packaging used in ODF, the ISO standard for office documents.

One difference from the latest Widgets 1.0 spec is that OCF requires ZIP64
support, whereas Widgets 1.0 excludes it. (Not sure why anyone in the year
2006 would produce a specification that intentionally prevents 64-bit
addressing....) In fact, 64-bit support is the only newer feature from ZIP
that OCF requires.

The primary new inventions in OCF beyond the ZIP packaging used in ODF are:

* For bootstrapping, it requires a nearly trivial META-INF/container.xml
file to point to the root file(s) within the container. (For HTML, the root
file is usually index.html.)
* It defines standard locations for package-level metadata
(META-INF/metadata.xml), digital signatures (META-INF/signatures.xml),
encryption (META-INF/encryption.xml), and rights management
(META-INF/rights.xml), and requires XML Signatures and XML Encryption if
signatures or encryption are used.

The IDPF tried its best to address its own needs for ebooks/epublishing,
but do so in a manner that meets industry needs on a general basis and keep
things as simple as possible.


Jon Ferraiolo <jferrai@us.ibm.com>
Web Architect, Emerging Technologies
IBM, Menlo Park, CA
Mobile: +1-650-926-5865

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Received on Monday, 11 December 2006 22:52:34 UTC

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